Director Database

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Judith Athaide ICD.D MBA P.Eng.

President and Chief Executive Officer The Cogent Group

Board Value Proposition: 

Governance, management, and operating experience in capital-intensive commodity industries. Proven track record in strategy development, risk management, project management and operational execution. Key strengths include broad strategic thinking, issues management, and talent management.

Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Developed and managed implementation of shared service model to direct provision of services amongst ENMAX and the City of Calgary’s various operating entities with objective of achieving cost containment, better utilization of knowledge capital and quicker adaptation to changes in the business environment.

Trading and Risk Management

  • Led creation and structuring of trading entities for F500  companies; advised on corporate and organization structure, developed risk identification and management policies, recruited and trained talent, and oversaw operations.

Major Capital Project Management

  • Oversaw engineering and project execution related to the design and construction of The Bow office building in downtown Calgary.

Technology and Software

  • Managed specification and procurement of a three-tier, database backed, WEB based e-commerce information system to support trading and information exchange for Alberta’s deregulated electricity market.

Audit, Risk and Environment, Governance, and Human Resources Committee Chair Experience

  • Chair during transition to IFRS from a traditional cost-of-service business model to performance-based ratemaking, multiple issuances of debt, and the succession of a controller and audit partner.
  • Presided over recruitment of two board directors, recruitment and onboarding of a CEO, an overhaul of the compensation structure, and development of corporate human resource policies.
  • Advanced compensation best practices, including linking pay to performance and improving the transparency of the proxy circular.

Mary-Ann Bell ASC P.Eng.

Board Value Proposition: 

Board Leadership and Audit Chair Experience

  • Fifteen years of experience as a director in the nonprofit sector and private sector including service as Board Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee.
  • Experience serving on a variety of committees, such as audit, compensation, governance, human resources, pension, and safety committees. 

C-Level Leadership and Profit and Loss, Business Line Experience

  • Seasoned senior executive with more than 30 years of experience in telecommunications. 
  • Led numerous operational functions with P&L accountability.

Mergers and Acquisitions and Change Management

  • Led operations at Bell Aliant post-merger, and the successful integration of the companies.

Lisa Zangari

Chief Consultant Epic Engagement

Board Value Proposition: 

A senior executive with demonstrated ability to lead the organization’s design, development, and execution of global talent strategies with large public companies. Significant experience managing relationships with the compensation committee of the board. A proven strategist with experience aligning transformational change with both strategic priorities and stakeholder value.

Human Resources, Compensation, Pension Expertise

  • Twelve years of executive experience global talent mandates in precious metals and technology.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Led due diligence and integration efforts for over 20 acquisition and divestitures in complex, global geographies.

Executive Compensation & Succession

  • Developed and implemented board-approved compensation strategies targeted to incent high levels of performance at the executive and non-executive levels. 
  • Led the development of global succession planning for executives, mid-management, and critical positions.
  • Successfully managed a transparent and collaborative relationship with three very diverse compensation committees.

Talent Strategy

  • Led the development and implementation of three global talent strategies that supported both growth and talent optimization. In one instance, delivered an ROI of 26% due to focused leadership development planning.

Dr. Susan Black MBA PhD

Senior Vice President, People Holt Renfrew and Company

Board Value Proposition: 

Organizational Transformation, Best-in-Class People Practices, Evidence-Based Management Practices

  • Reorganized recrutiment function at Holt Renfrew to improve yield and ensure better employee experience, and established executive on-boarding program.
  • Transformed key organizational programs at Intact Financial, improving company engagement by adopting a more sophisticated, data-based approach to measuring engagement, focusing on key drivers.
  • Within two years at Intact, launched new rewards and recognition program, new performance-management program (including new incentive plan), a diversity program, and a CSR program; saw significant increase in engagement as a result. 
  • Successfully managed people aspect of separation from ING Groep by leading smooth and cost-effective transition of all human resources policies, programs, and services resulting from ING Canada’s transition to Intact, following the sale of ING Groep’s 70% ownership in ING Canada to the public market in February 2009. 

Business Development, Communication

  • Founded and established leading nonprofit, Catalyst Canada, a research and advisory organization dedicated to helping Canadian companies better recruit, develop, and retain women in management.
  • As President, led Catalyst Canada to become the go-to organization for leading thinking and action on gender diversity in Canada by actively advising member companies on diversity programs and releasing ground-breaking research studies; achieved seven figures in annual revenue with consistent positive cash flow.

Carol Poulsen ICD.D

Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer The Co-operators Group Ltd

Board Value Proposition: 

Senior executive with breadth of experience across banking, insurance, technology, sales, and consulting. A strategic thinker and change agent with the ability to execute, and an experienced board member on both corporate and provincial agency boards.


  • Major contributor to the development of The Co-operators’ four-year business strategy.
  • Contributed to group-level strategy council, as well as the creation and execution of strategic planning framework for RBC technology and operations, leading to the alignment of business strategies.

Operational Risk Management and Governance

  • Created and delivered RBC technology’s first operational risk framework, significantly decreasing risk exposure and simplifying the risk-assessment process.
  • Created and successfully deployed enterprise technology governance framework across RBC’s markets, permitting greater rigor in investment decisions.
  • Created and delivered a risk-based Enterprise IT Security function at The Co-operators, allowing strategic investment decisions.

Mergers and Acquisitions and Organizational Transformation

  • Aligned five separate teams into one enterprise technology team within six months of onboarding as CIO of The Co-operators.
  • Transformed a group of IT best practices to a series of centers of excellence, proving value of service and leading to significant voluntary business uptake at RBC.
  • During merger of TD Bank/Canada Trust, successfully created the first single team to manage seamless rollout of the technology of all Retail and Wealth Distribution points.
  • Reduced The Co-operators’ IT Enterprise expenses year over year, through strategic approaches, consolidation/contract negotiation, and an over 40% reduction of data center costs.
  • Scaled a RBC global resource center for IT and business process offshoring, gaining an average of 74% leverage and 49% savings. 

Sharon C. Pel ICD.D LLB

Chief Executive Inglewood Advisory Services

Board Value Proposition: 

Strategic Planning and Execution

  • As Senior Vice President and Group Head of Legal and Business Affairs of TMX Group Limited, played a significant role as a member of the executive management team leading strategy development and execution.

Public Company Governance, Compliance, and Reporting

  • Responsible for reporting corporate governance, compliance, and reporting for TMX Group Limited, ensuring it remained at the forefront of good governance given its role in Canadian capital markets.

Regulatory Expertise

  • Advised on all legal and regulatory issues arising out of TMX Group’s operations and business initiatives in a highly regulated environment. Throughout an over 30-year career, advised numerous boards and businesses in various industries on complex transactions.

Mergers and Acquisitions, IPOs, Securities Transactions, and Divestitures

  • Played a significant role in TMX Group becoming a highly diversified exchange group. A key player on the team that managed the company’s most significant transaction, the combination of TMX Group Inc. with The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited and Alpha in 2012.
  • Also played a key role in other transactions, including the acquisition of Montreal Exchange Inc. and Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation in 2008, and of Natural Gas Exchange Inc. in 2004.
  • While Partner at Torys LLP, advised TMX Group on its initial public offering in 2002; it was the first exchange group to go public in North America. Also advised numerous other Canadian corporations in Canada and abroad on a wide variety of legal issues, in particular cross-border mergers, corporate finance and securities transactions, acquisitions, and divestitures.

Loreen Paananen ICD.D MBA

Board Value Proposition: 

Strategic Planning and Execution

  • Developed a national real estate strategy for Shoppers Drug Mart to deliver on long-term aggressive growth, and provided real estate department with strategic road map to deliver on growth targets.
  • Executed on that strategy, delivering  compounding growth of 10% until 2010 and, following that, delivered on 3–4% growth per year. This involved building and opening over 1 million selling square feet per year and a $250 million investment.
  • Structured a new department and process within Shoppers Drug Mart to deliver on a budget of $120 million in land-banked property and generate large disposition gains of $15 million yearly.

P&L Accountability

  • Developed the annual financial plan and was accountable for $800 million in sales revenue operationally through 110 Shoppers Drug Mart franchised stores.
  • Provided solutions to the franchise owners to reach financial targets in conjunction with their annual plan, and ensured that the operational resources were aligned in supporting those plans.


  • Led business retail operations of 110 Shoppers Drug Mart stores, union and non-union; directed operations team and ensured trademark standards were achieved in employee relations, loss prevention, accounting, recruiting store systems, and customer experience.


  • Orchestrated financial turnaround of a region within Shoppers Drug Mart.  Within two years, strategically changed operations and led team to exceed profitability goals for seven consecutive years, improving profitability by 84%, EBIDTA by 90%, and sales by 76%, and ranking #1 across Canada in most metrics.
  • Turned around a capital plan for Shoppers Drug Mart nationally, from missing planned sales by $30 million in 2006 to overdelivering sales by $20 million by 2009.  This was accomplished with intense plannning, insightful contingency strategies, and involving team expertise in devising creative solutions and not accepting “not possible” for an answer.   

Sharon Ranson CA CPA ICD.D MBA

President The Ranson Group

Board Value Proposition: 

Financial Expertise and Audit Committee Chair Experience

  • Instrumental in interpreting financial and public markets impact for all decisions, including reporting, write-offs, M&A activities, and restructurings based on financial expertise in accounting, capital markets, and investments.
  • Founding director and audit committee chair for two start-up banks and a fintech start-up.
  • Advised a financial institution to successfully become a bank. Helped navigate regulatory environment and create required infrastructure.

HR, Compensation Planning, and Maximizing Performance

  • Experience in key people-related matters such as hiring and firing CEOs, succession planning, implemeting a transformational compensation plan (as Committee Chair ), and working with senior leaders to maximize performance.

Strategic Advisor, Coach, and Consultant

  • Strategic adviser to numerous companies and executive leaders who have gone on to successfully navigate changing industry landscapes 

Sarah Raiss D100 ICD.D

Board Value Proposition: 

HR and Compensation Expertise and M&A Integration

  • Helped create and teach the Human Resources and Compensation Committee effectiveness course for the Institute of Corporate Directors
  • Part of executive leadership team that led merger integration and turnaround of TransCanada after difficult merger of equals; process improvements, creation of new vision, values, and strategy, and improved employee engagement from bottom of the bottom quartile to the top decile, winning multiple awards and recognition for sustainability, top employer, top diversity employer, and top employer for new Canadians; personal efforts led to significant cost reductions (over 50%).
  • Completed the successful merger integration of three electric utilities from creation of vision and strategies to implementation of all new governance and support function processes and systems, and HR policies and procedures.

Strategy, Organizational Transformation, and Restructuring

  • Selected by Chairman of Ameritech  for breakthrough leadership assignment to re-create the company from vision, values, culture, strategy, new structure, processes, systems, governance, marketing, human resources and compensation, and operations. 
  • Work resulted in creation of new business unit.

Operations and IT Leadership

  • At TransCanada managed budget of over $200 million and front-line staff of between 600 and 1,100.
  • Led the operations and IT functions at Ameritech, with a budget of $55 million and 650 staff,  implemented cost savings and process improvements with front-line union employees in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. 
  • Led the product development of four new products representing $35 million in annual revenue potential; increased profitability of an existing product by 50%.
  • Devised a new planning technique for fiber facilities and metropolitan facility networks.

Kathleen Sendall CM FCAE P.Eng.

Board Value Proposition: 

An experienced director with diverse board experience and a senior executive skill set. Particular expertise in energy and energy service sector and capital intensive industries. Financially literate, with experience in compensation, human resources, HSE, CSR, technology, and innovation.

Senior Executive Leadership, Business Unit Operations, and Profit and Loss

  • As Senior Vice President of Petro-Canada’s North American Natural Gas Business Unit, successfully led conventional oil and gas production and exploration in North America with an annual budget of $1.8 billion, production of 70,000 barrels per day, and over 900 employees in Calgary (10 plants and Denver field operations.
  • Successfully completed and integrated a US acquisition.

Industry Leader, Advisor, and Influencer

  • As the first woman chair of the board of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in 2006, was a key industry spokesperson and represented the industry during discussions and negotiations in important areas such as climate change, product pipeline capacity and tariffs, costs,and economics.
  • Served the industry and the community at large in various advisory capacities to both provincial and federal governments in the areas of climate change, carbon capture and storage, environmental legislation, and Arctic foreign policy.